Wednesday, August 29, 2012

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday ~ Goldstein Brothers

While on vacation this past month, I took my portable scanner and scanned a whole bunch of photographs at my in-laws' home.

Left to right: Morris Goldstein, Rose (Levitt) Goldstein, Max Goldstein, Lottie (Rosen) Goldstein

I recognized Max and Lottie because, a few days earlier, we had visited Ellis Island, where I took a snapshot of the following:

Taken at Ellis Island's American Flag of Faces™

The American Flag of Faces™ located in the museum’s main entrance hall is an animated red, white and blue flag filled with a montage of images submitted by individuals of their families, their ancestors, or even themselves. Visitors can search by name to call up a photo, which will then dynamically appear in the center of the Flag.
When I searched for "Goldstein" Max and Lottie appeared. When I clicked on either name, this photograph appeared, then shrank in size and became a part of the montage.

Going to the website link and clicking on Intro to Flag of Faces brings you to a page where you can do the same search for a surname of an immigrant ancestor, or make a donation to submit your own photograph.

It would be fun to connect with the cousin who submitted this photograph and see if he / she has any other photographs!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Sunday's Obituary ~ Sam Handler, 1954

I've been writing about the Sam Handler family and recently wondered where Sam and Sadie died. I searched for Sam Handler on and found a Sam Handler in the death index in Los Angeles, California that possibly fit. When I asked my husband if he remembered any relatives going to California, he did! He remembered a meeting a Simon (which was David Simon, who married Sam and Sadie's daughter, Esther) at a Handler cousin wedding in Ohio in 1988. When I found Sadie Handler in the California death index in 1988 with mother's maiden name of Hershkowitz, that confirmed that I found them.

I noted this in an email to the reader in Ohio who has taken an interest in this research and once again I must thank him for directing me to another Cleveland, Ohio, research source - the Cleveland Public Library website.

The Cleveland Public Library has a Research page with information about how to search for Death Notices, Obituaries and Death Certificates. One section is the Cleveland Necrology File. From the initial search page is the following description:
The Cleveland Necrology File was produced from a microfilmed copy of an alphabetical card file containing local cemetery records and newspaper death notices gathered by the staff of the Cleveland Public Library. 
The database includes paid death notices published in the following newspapers:
  • The Cleveland Plain Dealer - 1850-1975
  • The Cleveland Herald - 1833, 1847-1848, 1876, 1878-1879
  • The Cleveland Press - 1941-1975
Searching for Sam Handler, I find the following:
Id#: 0534346
Name: Handler, Sam
Date: Jun 14 1954
Source: Cleveland Press;  Cleveland Necrology File, Reel #115.
Notes: Handler, Sam, formerly of Cleveland, passed away June 8 at his residence, Sherman Oaks, Calif., beloved husband of Sadie, dearly devoted father of Arthur Handley [sic] of Cleveland and Mrs. Esther Simon of Sherman Oaks, Calif., dear brother of Mrs. Regina Solomon of Cleveland, and dear grandfather. Services and interment were held on June 9, at Los Angeles, Calif.
Note that the obituary doesn't indicate that he was predeceased by an older brother, Joseph Handler.

Update: See his death certificate.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Tuesday's Tip ~ Using JewishGen Gazetteer

My husband's great uncle Sam Handler reported his birthplace as "Erdvick, Hungary" on his 1919 Naturalization Papers.

From the Declaration of Intention (December 31, 1912)

From the Petition for Naturalization (March 20, 1919)

From WWII Draft Card
However, by the time he had to provide information for the World War II Draft Registration, he reported that he was born in Illok, Hungary, which is where his brother, Joe Handler reported he was born. (See Josef's passenger list and naturalization papers.)

I had not had luck finding a community with the name of Erdvick, and I thank the reader of my blog who was a little more creative with looking for this community and searched for Erdevick at the JewishGen Gazetteer.

The result looks like this:

Erdevick is in what is now Serbia.

Illok (or Ilok) is in what is now known as Croatia:

Ilok is about 16 km or 10 miles north of Erdevick.

So today's tip is to remember to be creative as you search for a Jewish community in the JewishGen database. The spelling may not be what you think it is.

Update / clarification: Be aware of the different search methods drop-down box at the bottom of the search screen AND if you think you know the general area of the community, in this case, possibly near Ilok, use an online map, like Google Maps to scan for the community name.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

A Surprise in the 1910 Census

My husband's grandfather, Josef (Joseph / Joe) Handler, arrived in America on April 14, 1910. (See his passenger list record here.) His younger brother, Sam Handler, supposedly arrived in January 1905 (according to his naturalization papers), although I have not been able to find him on a passenger list.

Some 1910 Enumerator Instructions, from
"The 1910 Census was begun on 15 April 1910. The actual date of the enumeration appears on the heading of each page of the census schedule, but all responses were to reflect the individual's status as of 15 April, even if the status had changed between 15 April and the day of enumeration. For example, children born between 15 April and the day of enumeration were not to be listed, while individuals alive on 15 April but deceased when the enumerator arrived were to be counted."
So Josef Handler WAS in America as of the official 1910 census date of April 15, 1910 (having arrived the day before), though likely in New York City or on a train to Cleveland, Ohio. When the census enumerator arrived in Sam Handler's neighborhood at 2515 Woodland Avenue, in Cleveland, Ohio, on April 25, look who is included in his household:

Although the enumerator got the last name wrong (Hande should be Handler), this is the family of Sam (age 23) and Sadie (age 19) Handler (married in 1909), with their daughter, Esther, who was born earlier that year (note the age of 4/12). And also in the household is Joe, brother to the Head of Household, Sam.

Ger.-German references the birthplace and native language for Sam and Joe (incorrect, as we know from other records and family stories that they were born in Hungary).

Further to the right, we see that Sam reported that he arrived in the U.S. in 1906 and has his papers (on his way to becoming a citizen); Sadie arrived in 1909, and Joe arrived in 1910 (in fact, just eleven days earlier!). Sam and Sadie can speak English, but Joe is listed as speaking German, again probably should be Hungarian or Magyar. Sam's occupation is as a salesman in a Grocery Store.  It looks like Joe is probably looking to apply for a factory job.

I never thought I would find Josef Handler in the 1910 Census, but in doing research on his brother, Sam, I found him!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Workday Wednesday ~ Sam Handler

These past few weeks I've been focusing on my husband's great uncle Sam Handler. Census records, although often full of errors, can provide a way to follow a family through the decades, and it's interesting to see how a person's occupation is listed through the years. Using city directories along with census records helps clarify what an ancestor was doing for a living and if his (or her) occupation changed over time.

At Fold3, I found Samuel Handler in the 1918 Cleveland City Directory. His occupation (as on his WWI Draft Registration Card) is "confectionery," meaning he made candy of some sort.

A couple of years later, in 1920, at 6314 Central Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio, Sam Handler's family is listed with his wife and two children.

Sam is 32 years old, Sadie is 29, and their children, Esther and Arthur are 10 and 7 and in school. In this census record, it looks like he and his wife immigrated in 1903, and the "Pa" indicates that he has his papers for naturalization, meaning that he is in the process of becoming a citizen. (Sadie is still considered an Alien.) (They became citizens later in 1920.) It looks like they are reporting that they were born in Vienna, Austria, yet their "Mother Tongue" is listed as Hungarian Magyar. (According to Sam's naturalization papers, they were both born in Hungary.)

Sam's occupation is Proprietor of a Fruit Store (healthier than confectionery) and is self-employed (indicated by OA).